Year 10 Welcome Back Letter

19th March 2021

Dear parent,

I would like to start by saying how wonderful it was to welcome your children back into school after such a long time away from the classroom.  I know, from speaking with many of you, that it has been a difficult few months for a number of families within our year group.  Please know that we will continue to support both you and your children in the weeks and months ahead.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of the College and your children for all your support and encouragement that you have provided during this period of online learning.  As a parent myself, I know that it has not always been easy.  I have been, as I am sure you are, very proud of the reports that I have received from my colleagues in relation to the engagement, resilience and motivation that your children have shown towards their online lessons.  However, I think we can all agree, that online lessons are no substitute for time in a classroom and I have enjoyed returning to teach students on a face to face basis.

The priority at the moment is to safeguard and promote your child’s mental health and to allow them to have the time and space to get reacquainted and re-establish those important face to face relationships with their peers and their teachers.  I understand that some students (and parents) may be anxious about the return to College but I would signpost you to the letters that have been sent by Mr McClarey regarding the measures that have been put in place to keep all members of our College community safe.  However, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Alongside this is the reality that in a few short months, your child will have finished Year 10 and will be moving into Year 11.  This can be a real time of worry for students (and parents), especially considering the amount of face to face teaching time that they have missed in both years 9 and 10.  It will be hard work for all (students, teachers and parents) and there will be many pressures to face and difficulties to overcome.  However, whilst a little bit of pressure can bring out the best in us, too much can cause students to crumble under the weight of expectation.  It is a very fine line to balance so please reach out to us if you feel that your child is struggling over the next few weeks and months. If they seem withdrawn, indifferent or out of sorts, please let us know so that we can continue to work with you and them to help ensure their success.

The second priority is to support students in re-establishing positive routines that will ensure that they reach their full potential and that they are prepared for the next step of their education when they leave our College.  It would be remiss not to acknowledge that children across the country have missed a significant amount of face to face teaching and that some habits or behaviours may have been lost or forgotten.  The time in lessons will be used to reiterate expectations and revisit any areas of the curriculum that may have been missed.  The key message for students must be that they make the most of every minute of every lesson.  There are some simple steps that your child could take that would offer some “quick wins”. These include

  1. Organisation and preparation – students should aim to be fully prepared for every lesson by having the correct books, equipment (including green pens and sanitiser) and having completed any homework to the best of their ability.
  2. A healthy sleep schedule and diet so that they are well rested and fuelled for the school day.  Please continue to monitor your child’s use of social media and mobile devices and please let us know of any concerns.

As it is a return to school after an extended period of time, can I please draw your attention to the following reminders.

Uniform

Thank you for your continued support of the uniform policy.  Our uniform is a way of students showing their pride in belonging to our College community and are linked to our high expectations across all aspects of College life.  If you have any issues with the supply of school uniform, please inform us to make us aware. Please can I also remind you that all coats are to be navy or black with no large logos.

Mobile Phones

Students are reminded that mobile phones should not be used in College.  They should be turned off and placed in their bags before they arrive at College.  Any student who is found to be using a mobile phone during the College day will have it confiscated.  Please contact the school office if you need to get a message to your child during the College day.

Masks, Sanitiser and Equipment

Please can I remind you that students should be using face coverings on College buses and at all times within the school building (including lessons).  If you have any queries regarding the use of face covering please contact us at College.  Students should also have their own personal bottle of sanitiser to use during the College day, and there are plenty of sanitising stations around the College building.  For the foreseeable future, students will not be allowed to share equipment, so it is very important that they have their own supply of stationery and a scientific calculator.  Please let us know if you have any difficulties in procuring these items.

Finally, can I reiterate my thanks for your continuing support.  As always, please do not hesitate to contact myself or any member of the College staff if you have any questions or concerns with any aspect of College life.

Yours sincerely,

Mr C M Taylor

Head of Year 10